Destiny: Rise of Iron
Rise of Iron will be guardian’s last foray in Destiny, and it’s a fitting end.
In Destiny’s last expansion, guardians will traverse a frigid hellscape, climb the highest mountains, and become an Iron Lord. SIVA, a self replicating nano-virus, has been broken out of its prison deep below the ruins of Russia. The fallen, an ancient alien race seeks to bend SIVA to its will, but Lord Saladin will not allow this. After losing his comrades, the the first Iron Lords to SIVA, he will bring you into the fold as a new lord of iron in order to take down this threat.
While rumors of the SIVA threat circulate the tower, Saladin tasks guardians with the reclamation of an old observatory high in the frigid Russian mountains. Players will be treated to never before seen playable spaces, and beautiful vistas as they scale the Goliath that is Felwinters Peak. After finding concrete evidence that SIVA has returned, guardians will team up with a mostly new cast of characters.
Lord Saladin’s former companions may have fallen in battle, but he still has a few new friends. Tyra Karn will provide players with quests and new information on the growing threat of the fallen splicer army. She also serves as the cryptarch within the new playable space of felwinters peak. Shiro is another new compatriot of lord Saladbar’s, and he provides valuable Intel, provides new quests, and is one of Felwinter Peak’s vendors!
While Rise of Iron is smaller than The Taken King, its characters didn’t have to be. I found Shiro flat and boring especially compared to the performance of Nathan Fillion as our beloved robo-rogue, Cayde 6. Our newest cryptarch seemed interesting enough, but still left a bit to be desired. The shining star however, I’d Lord Saladin himself. The extremely well done voice acting behind his character lends to the overall epic feel that Rise of Iron shoots for.
Players fight to contain SIVA and preserve the last city on earth is not long-lived. In fact, the main story can be completed in under 2 hours. Much like Destiny itself, the new gameplay doesn’t really start until the main story is completed. Once players have become Iron Lords in their own right, a few other objectives come into play.
My personal favorite aspect of Rise of Iron has been the phenomenal new exotic quests. Weapons like Thorn, Gjallarhorn, and our first gun, the Khvostov, have returned with their own lengthy quests. The Khvostov quest in particular bring players personal stories full circle as we treated the very first spaces we encountered in vanilla Destiny. Rather than feeling recycled, these sequences feel meaningful as you reminisce with your ghost who takes the time to talk to guardians about their adventures and even thanks you for protecting them. The Gjallarhorn quest line brings players to an abandoned tower, and teaches players about what took place just before it fell. Small steps like these show that Bungie has somewhat learned its lesson, and rather than placing vital backstory in grimoire cards, we can also experience it in Destiny.
When not chasing down Destiny’s highly coveted exotics, The plaguelands the new playable space on earth offers varied gameplay. Bungie has encouraged players to explore its many secrets, as it was designed in the same style as the Dreadnaught. All new patrol missions are challenging and fresh, and of course there is Archons Forge. In this new game mode, players can provide offerings, which will open up a battle arena of sorts, that is open to any nearby players. Up to nine guardians can take part in these short, fast paced public events. For players of past DLC’s, it’s a hybrid of prison of elders and court of oryx.
If PVE isn’t your thing, Supremacy could be the PVP game mode for you. In this frantic and frenetic new game mode, combatants must not only kill the enemy team, but also pick up medallions dropped in that kill to score more points for their team. Teammates can also recover these medallions in order to deny the enemy more points. Rise of Iron also features new maps as well, bringing some new content to PVP players as well as PVE.
New modes and quests are great, but if there’s one thing Destiny fans want, it’s sweet loot. All the games existing vendors have been refreshed, and new vendors carry never before seen wares as well. Factions for the most part carry reskinned old armor however, while their weapon stock features a few completely new weapon builds. While factions sell reskins, there are many new armor pieces and sets to be had. A previous update brought chroma, a new glowing effect to players armor, but Rise of Iron brings us ornaments. These new customization items give
armor and weapons an entirely new skin. After having requested it for some time, fans can rejoice at these varied and fun weapon skins, lending even more customization options to. Guardians.
While Rise of Iron feels like a nice fitting now on top of all that is Destiny, it doesn’t come without its complaints. Some players have complained about the length of the main story, however with the other additions coming with this dlc release there are still hours and hours of content to
be played. Bungie was forthcoming with the size of this release, being somewhat of a middle ground between House of Wolves and The Taken King.
Overall, Rise of Iron delivers on its epic, almost high fantasy feel. The games new score, characters like Saladin, and the new playable spaces all help convey an almost Game of Throne‘s-esque atmosphere. Quests quieter moments and clever use of old in game spaces really lend to an almost sentimental connection with your guardian. Rise of Iron is a fitting final DLC release that shows just how much Bungie has learned from Destiny this far, and shows promise for the sequel to come.
Become an Iron Lord and stand where your comrades have fallen.